Fried Chicken Paradise
Fried chicken has been famous in Crawford County for decades. Here’s why.
In the wee hours of a cold January morning, Donna Lipoglav stood over a fryer at Chicken Annie’s, cooking up some – you guessed it – chicken. A KOAM/Fox14 anchor was on his way to visit Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, and he wanted to bring the governor something that epitomized Southeast Kansas.
Fried chicken it was.
“He called, and I got here at 7 in the morning and fried him some chicken,” Donna says. “It was pretty cool.”
After all, there’s not much that’s more legendary in Southeast Kansas than its tender, juicy, crispy-coated fried chicken. The delicious tradition began 85 years ago with Annie Pichler, Donna’s grandmother and Chicken Annie’s namesake, who began serving food out of her home north of Pittsburg after her coal-miner husband was injured at work. It didn’t take long for word to spread about her fried-chicken joint – and for it to be accompanied by several others in the county.
Together, the six famous chicken houses of Crawford County have been called one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas Cuisine. Some have been written up in national publications and featured on cable TV. And to this day, they’re all serving fried chicken in their own way – each with an equally zealous following…
Want to keep reading about Crawford County’s fried-chicken tradition? Check out the spring issue of Southeast Kansas Living, out now! It includes this story in its entirety, plus so much more. Subscribe now, or contact us to find a newsstand near you.